Need sellers? These few strategies will help you get more
Today we are going to be covering sellers. We got some low inventory all around the country so I figured we’d dive into this one. We’re going to talk about how to get some more listings using some pretty simple strategies, so things that you can go and implement pretty much right away.
It’s an interesting time, it’s an interesting market. It’s starting to feel like the hot times of ’07. Take a listing to the bank and cash it. Give me my money. I’ve been watching Springfield’s market, although I never produced in this market. Average price range, it’s gone that same day. You got to have offers ready, submit them the minute that thing comes on the market.
So what do you do in a market like this? How do you get more market share? I mean, obviously, it’s very discouraging to have multiple offer situations, have good buyers, have them find houses that they like, and then not be able to actually purchase them because the inventory is so tight. It’s a good time to focus on sellers when that occurs. You should always have multiple pillars in your business anyway. A really strong, healthy position being 50% buyers, 50% sellers, depending on how you’re structured. And right now, it could be very easy to get lopsided.
First, I would just like to disclaimer here, the absolute best thing that you could have done was six months ago to a year ago, continuing to have a pipeline and filling up a pipeline of potential buyers and sellers. If you’re not doing that now, that’s the first thing you got to put in place to make sure you don’t get yourself in a position where you’re like, “Oh, I need now stuff, now stuff, now stuff,” right?
But nonetheless, you still need to get now stuff at some point, right?
That’s that commission rollercoaster man, and it’s unpleasant. Because you need the money, so you’re focused on getting the money. You get the money, and then poof, you’re out of business if it was a listing that sold and you only had one. Now you’re back to the same spot. So you have to have a strategy around now and future business and having a database is the most important.
And some of the strategies we’re going to go into are kind of high level as far as how to get in front of more sellers right now because they’re based on the predicate of you having a database. And the thing about generating on the buy-side is that buyers are often sellers. And I think that that’s often overlooked. If they’re buying a house, there’s a good chance that they have one to sell as well. And so how do you stay in front of them, right?
And it was based on the conversation I was having with a customer and we were talking about content as a strategy. And he was like, “Well, how often do you guys change up the content to continue to nurture a seller?” And I said, “Well, it’s not necessarily about changing up the content if the content is good in the first place. It’s about changing the frequency and duration in which the content gets in front of them.” And he said, “Well, what do you mean?” And I said, “Well, think about it. There are only so many things that are going to be pertinent to selling a home, right?” It’s not like you have to come up with fresh stuff every day or every week like we do here.
But you do have to be consistent, and the consistency is going to be based on the timing of the prospect. How do you nurture a seller in the first place, right? How do you stay in front of them? If you look at a buyer from the buy-side, it’s very easy to stay in front of them with homes for sale. But with a seller, I mean, there’s only a handful of things that people have done in the past. There’s a market update, telling them what has sold in their neighborhood or what’s for sale in their neighborhood. There’s mailers that you can send out. Updated home value, which is usually the capture in the first place, the way that you get them to raise their hand and hop into your database. But, I mean, how do you stay top of mind after that? What do you send them, right?
The problem with a market update is it’s once a month, a lot of the hard copy mailer pieces that have been out in the past that I’ve seen are not really building much value. I have seen a lot of listing appointments looking at the Cardinals calendar on the fridge from their real estate agent that mailed it to them.
And my point to this gentleman was content. Content is a fantastic strategy if it’s contextual, so if they’re selling their home, obviously, they’re going to be curious about what the value is, right? Obviously, they’re going to be curious about things like, should I get it inspected? They’re going to be curious about things like, what kind of improvements should I make to get the most amount of money out of it? I’ve been thinking, this carpet needed to be changed. Would that be a good use of my money to spend, to update it? All of these types of things are going through their head.
And so what we did at Market Makers, we got a list of these things, and we have a content strategy that’s delivered to the prospect. That’s hitting them with these topics that we know that they’re thinking about. And we bolster that with a video from the agent, so it’s building that authority in the mind of that consumer while they’re looking at the face of the agent. Deciding whether or not they’re curious about this topic, regardless of if they are, the fact that the agent is the one that’s bringing the topic to the customer. Already positions them as the expert. The saying is if you can communicate their problem very clearly, they’re going to assume that you have the answer, right? And if they think that you have the answer, they think that you’re an expert, that’s positioning.
And so the only thing that you have to do is change the frequency of how often you send that because you don’t want to be a pest. So the way to do that is by asking them how soon they’re looking to sell and then changing your content delivery strategy up. Based on that timing and motivation. So if they’re moving in three months, we’d want to send them some content on a weekly basis. If they’re moving in six, it’d be every two weeks. If they’re moving in 12, it’d be once a month.
And the thing that you want to do combined with that, first get their permission like, “Hey, would you like me to do X, Y, and Z for you? Give you a market update so you can keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your market and your neighborhood so when you do decide to sell, you’ll be informed. Does that sound helpful?” They agree, and then we got them, it’s marketing by permission. We’ve just got the law of reciprocity triggered for them. For us, they’ve allowed us to do something for them, which means that now we have a relationship and then you want to automate the rest of it happening so you don’t have to think about it again.
But the best thing is to call them again and get that time. “Hey, when’s a good time for me to follow up with you when you think you might be closer to selling just so that I can come out and do X, Y, and Z? Obviously, tell you exactly what your home is worth at that time in the market. Plus give you some tips and strategies on what to do to get the most amount of money for it, et cetera.” Whatever script you like to use as far as that’s concerned, you get their permission to follow up with them. So now what’s happening is they’re getting this content. You’ve got their timing, you know when they’re going to move. So you’ve got this plan in place to continue to stay top of mind with them to deliver them value.
That’s a good strategy for staying on top of them. The best strategy, like you said Jake, is having this in place 6, 8, 10, 12 years ago, right? So that you have a big, huge swath of database of these people that you can continue to follow up with, which leads us to, if you want to go out and get them to raise their hands from your database now, some of the strategies that we want to talk about. Let’s go into that.
My personal favorite: shake the trees. With shake the trees, we had one client that came on board that loaded up 300 old leads that were four years old, and they hadn’t been reached out to in four years. So no communication for four years. 300 people, old leads, seller leads, that turned into seven listing appointments, something like that.
It was like 100 people responded and of the 100 people, seven were looking to sell pretty soon. This is something that doesn’t work if you did it last month, you can’t do it again this month. That’s a once a quarter max, probably ideally twice a year, to the whole database. If you’re building it out into the process, it’d be a little bit different, then you could have a little bit more consistency with it. But talking about an immediate shot in the arm and just a way to engage and get back in front of people and have conversations in a way that’s helpful, right? It has nothing to do with you like, “Hey, I was just going through my old leads and realized I hadn’t reached out to you in a while.” No, don’t make it about you, right? It’s all about them and what they were doing originally.
It could be either an email or a text. Text probably works even better. But either way, my favorite on the sell-side is typically, anything that’s an old seller lead is going to be coming from home value. So they would have been curious about their home value in the past. So I’d be like, “Hey, so it looks like you had reached out to us about getting a home value on your home. Would you like an updated number and would you look for a broad range or a more specific price that it would sell for in today’s market?”
And that question is important because when they ask for a specific thing, it’s going to be a little bit hotter than somebody that just wants a broad range. But, more importantly, it’s asking a question that they have to answer that’s not just yes or no. “Would you like an update?” “Yes.” That’s not quite the conversation as much as you’re going to get some people thinking, “Oh, this was really helpful. Definitely a more specific range or a specific price that it would sell for in today’s market.”
Another one that we’ve had that’s worked really well is asking them like, “Hey, are you still the owner of 123 Main Street?” That’s the subject line, “123 Main Street?” Or something like that. And then the body of the email, the question is, “Were you thinking about selling 123 Main Street in the future, and if so, what do you think it would list for?” Oh man, had some pretty awesome responses to that one. Somebody once said, “$333,000 and a bag of weed.” That’s what the response said, and I was like, “Okay, this guy’s going to be fun.” Somebody had a PO box that they had put in. I’m not sure what PO boxes go for nowadays. But it allows you to engage into a conversation.
Sometimes I really think that sending something with the person’s wrong address or a wrong name that’s merged in, sometimes can be good for conversations because it gets more people to respond and be like, “This isn’t Barry.” Then you can respond like, “Oh, I’m sorry, I totally messed that up. But now that I’ve got you…” Conversation started.
If you stick on the sell-side to either asking if they’re looking to sell and asking what they think it would sell for, and then asking the question of, “Are you looking for more a broad range or a more specific price that it would sell for in today’s market?” Either of those two questions, you are going to get responses, and you’re going to get engagement, and you’re going to be able to take it to a real offline conversation, which is the whole purpose of all that. Because again, if you have the systems in place, you’re going to be able to get those immediate shots in the arm, right?
So let’s say that that’s three, five, seven people, 10 people would be amazing, right? To have 10 listing appointments this month coming from an email or text campaign. But what’s even better is when you have those five people that are right now, plus you get in conversations with 10 or 15 other people that were like, “Hey, not right now, but come spring or the beginning of summer next year is when we’re listing because our son’s about to graduate from high school,” Then put them into a nurture campaign. And now you’re set up to have some more consistency throughout the next 12 months coming from the work that you did right now.
For agents who maybe have never really tried to market to sell at first, that might be daunting as well. And we personally think that you need to have a higher GCI to implement a pay-per-click listing, seller lead strategy because takes longer. It takes more time and more skill to convert a lead like this than it does somebody who’s like, “Yeah, I’m looking to buy, this area, that price range, right away,” right? It doesn’t take as much skill to convert that as it does somebody who is, “Yeah, I’d like to know what my home is worth.”
You have to have a good script. You have to understand what’s going through their head. They might just be looking to refinance while rates are low right now.
So if that is daunting to you, what I would suggest is the same thing that we were talking about earlier, focus on the buyers because you’ll still be able to make money with them. And if you just ask them, “Oh, well, you have a house you need to sell?” You’re going to find that out. When you’re talking to them the first time about what it is they’re looking to buy. And that’s probably the quickest, easiest way to start to generate these conversations to implement these types of strategies.
Mike Reese used to always tell me that whenever he needed a quick seller, he used to just call through all of his old buyer leads and say, “Hey, I know you’re looking at property, do you have a house to sell first?” And he wasn’t even trying to get the buyer deal. So if they said no, he was just like, “Okay, have a great day.” And then he would move on because he was just trying to get listings at the time.
And right now, new construction has been hopping in DFW and other parts of the country. So somebody that’s looking at new construction, if they’ve come in showing interest in new construction, there is a very good chance they have a house to sell before they can get into it. And I think new construction just has a lot of allure right now because it’s like you could get into all these bidding wars and put in all these offers, or you could just get your house built and move in in six to eight months.
Especially if it’s a little bit higher end, you know it’s going to be move up as far as the new construction is concerned. But I think it boils down to a lot of agents, because they’re on that commission rollercoaster, they’re all focused on the now, everybody’s time, energy, efforts, resources, are going into this now business, which means that there’s a tremendous amount of competition and it’s much more difficult to get the outcome that you desire.
I had a paradigm shift long ago and basically the gist of it was if you’re looking at a bar graph and it shows you where’s where everybody’s at, then the higher up you go, the less people there are trying for that particular kind of an opportunity, or position, or income, or what have you. And it’s kind of the same with real estate as far as people aren’t really focused on somebody that’s looking to move six months from now. But if you can start thinking like that today, you will have changed your business in a short timeframe. It’ll seem like a long timeframe if you’re going from now to there. But when you get there and you look back, you’ll be like, “Man, that happened very quickly.”
It’s like old Frank Kern. When he was drawing it out one time showing about the people making decisions now, people making decisions down the road. That’s more pertinent to real estate than almost any other industry.
He was like, “If you could get 10% market share of one of these pieces of the graph, which one would it be?” And it was between the 3% of people that are selling or buying right now and the 57% or something of the people who are selling or buying down the road. And he was like, “If I can have 10%, I would want 10% of the biggest one”.
It’s like in hockey, you always skate to where the puck is going, not where it is, because by the time you get there, it’s gone.
I always used to tell my team, “Listen, would you rather take down a woolly mammoth all by yourself or with a team of 12 guys with spears?” And if you think about a team concept, in essence, you’re collectively competing against single agents within this market and you can do it with greater resources and productivity because everybody has bought into this collective ability to compete.
Another thing is positioning yourself in a way that you win. If I’m ever on the phone with an agent, I make them call me, you know? They’ve got to call me because I’m not going to call them and be like, “Oh, this is Mike. You wanted me to give you a call.” It just puts you in a deferred position and a huge part of that is mindset. And so when I would have a lead come in before we had all the fancy stuff of being able to throw them on calendars like we do now, I would call them.
And I’d be like, “Hey, I’m just returning your call.” “Oh, what do you mean? I don’t remember calling you.” “Well, you reached out to me online. You were looking for X, right?” Home evaluation, a list of homes, what have you, you know? And then I would just ask them the next point-blank question, “Are you looking to move in the next little while?” Because whoever controls the questions controls the conversation. That positioning is better, “Hey, I’m just calling you back. Hey, I’m just helping you. Hey, I’m just doing what you wanted.”
You can survey your database in the same way that we were talking about with the email to shake the trees. There’s a number of survey tools out there, of course, Market Maker has one included as well. If you do it, don’t forget to have their name and contact information in the survey fields.
Are you looking to sell in 2020 or 2021 in the next 12 months? Any of those questions would be a good survey and mix it in with like, “Do you like sparkles on your ice cream?”
Right. The positioning of the email is 2020 your local area home ownership survey, right? Would you mind taking a moment to fill out 2020 home ownership survey, click here. They click there. Ask them these questions, right? Are you looking to sell? Do you know anybody looking to sell? If so… The same thing we used to do on the phones. That’s the thing, all this stuff, it’s the same, just different forms of media.
And it’s a personal preference. Like I said, for me, I don’t like to be always out there self-serving. I like to flip it and be the one serving them because they had requested that information. If you’d like help with that, go to marketmakercall.com, watch a short video on how we generate leads for you. Nurture those leads in a way that honors your status and authority in the mind of those leads. And then ultimately deliver them to your calendar as an appointment, a pre-positioned appointment, which means they know something about you prior to them hopping on. Go to marketmakercall.com, check it out. See if your area’s available. It’s one agent per zip code.
Like we always say here at Market Maker, you are always just one pre-position appointment away.